What's Happening in Hamilton

Coffee Crawl

Nina Schuurman 

Is drinking your coffee not only a necessity around midterm season but also a joy-filled passion? Have you been longing for a cup a little smoother and richer than what you have available to you here?

 As a Hamiltonian, I've watched as the city has grown in its arts scene, with the coffee scene following behind it closely. Starting with the Coffeecology folks and Detour Café in Dundas, locals have seen a striking wave of independent coffee places blooming all around the city. Former Redeemer students have littered the industry at Relay, Johnny's, Finch, 541, and elsewhere. Hamilton's primary coffee roasters include Detour, Relay (formerly called Red Hill Coffee), Vintage, and Coffeecology.

Pages and pages could be written about the affect luxury coffee places have on the city. Gentrification the influx of wealthy middle-class folks in inner city locations is a very present phenomenon in Hamilton, displacing many of the original residents when retail prices rise. It doesn't take much to realize that luxury coffee shops are not intended for the original residents of inner-city Hamilton. The big question to ask when examining these places in the context of their neighbourhood is “who are they for and who are they not for?” There's a fine tight-rope to walk between finding joy in luxury products of any sort and excluding our neighbours, especially in urban settings.

 By paying close attention to the way our purchases affect those around us, we find ourselves nonetheless in a city with a myriad of quality coffee shops to find delight in. After a few of us went on a coffee crawl around the city, we have accumulated a top 5 list of coffee shops you may not have seen yet to help guide your own adventures through Hamilton's coffee industry. Enjoy!

 1.     Finch Espresso Bar/Johnny's Coffee

Being an easy bus ride from campus and home to what is in our opinion one of the best lattes in Hamilton, Finch is an ideal place for quick Saturday trip! Finch and Johnny's are both owned by a former Redeemer student, Jess, and we loved the unique ambiance and service of both locations, but we were most blown away by their quality of espresso.

 2.     Relay Coffee Roasters

Even though the Relay makes an amazing cup of fair trade, organic drip coffee, our favourite attribute was definitely its sense of community from the moment you walk in. We loved the baristas friendliness as they served us.

 3.     Detour Café

With what is in my opinion the best locally roasted coffee, Detour Café has gained a ton of attention in Hamilton and beyond. The shop is in Dundas and if you have a passion for coffee, I highly recommend making a trip out there!

 4.     Saint James Espresso Bar & Eatery

Saint James' Steampunk is something new for Hamilton, but it has gained popularity quick. As its storefront is located on James St. North, it doesn't have a lot of sitting room, but next time you're at art crawl be sure to pop in and grab a cup for on the go!

 5.     The Pinecone Coffee Co.

This coffee place, new to Hamilton as of last summer, is my personal favourite place to unwind off campus. At Pinecone, you can get a killer AeroPress coffee and sit in the beautiful natural light that streams in from their front window.

 

 

The Senate's New Years Message

Johanna Benjamins | Student Senate

The end of January: The time of year when all of our well-meant New Year’s resolutions fade into oblivion and more realistic mindsets take their place. With the rush and pressure of attaining personal goals and scholarly deadlines, it’s easy to forget the reason why we are attaining them in the first place — to put God at the center of everything we do.

For me, the healthy perspective gained from time set aside to spend with God was the perfect reminder of why we are doing what we do, and that no matter what goals and plans we may have, God is working through them. When I committed to doing my devotions more frequently, God sent me Ephesians 2: 21 and 22 as a reminder of his resolution for my life:

“21In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”

I think these verses also apply to my work with Student Senate. Like you, we as a group are always striving to learn, improve and grow, and there is no better time than New Years to evaluate the goals we set for ourselves and our plan for the future. We are SO excited for the goals and plans we have for the coming semester — Winter Retreat, Student Senate Election, and Spring Formal, to name a few.

Senators may be motivated by the work experience they gain, the fun they have, or even by the satisfaction of knowing that they are providing a service for their community, but even with all of these plans before me and my fellow Senators, I realized that these events are not Student Senate’s primary goal. Student Senate’s hope for this semester is that we may be facilitators of Christian community throughout all of the events coming in 2016. May the blessings of Ephesians 2 inspire your work in the community as much as it has inspired mine.

What's Happening in Hamilton?

Rebekka Gondosch | Reporter 

Local Spot: Coach & Lantern Pub 

 

 Hours of Operation: Sunday 12-10pm, Monday-Wednesday 11:30am-12am, Thursday-Saturday 11:30am-1am

 Must-Have: The English Curry (try it vegetarian and spicy!)

 “Sit long — talk much — laugh often” are the words printed in the menu of Ancaster’s Coach & Lantern Pub. Such words were the experience of the Crown team as we bonded together over a delicious dinner at this local gathering place. A British style pub, the Coach & Lantern boasts a beautiful entranceway (home to an ideal outdoor patio in the summer months), and possesses all the qualities of a quaint, dark, and cozy English pub interior. Situated between shops on Wilson Street, the pub is the third oldest building in Ancaster having been re-built close to 1823 after its original 1700’s architecture burned down in a fire. Once a hotel, the pub has historical roots; it was built for St. John Rousseaux’s son. For those who enjoy Hamilton hauntings, the Coach & Lantern website shares some of the ghostly encounters on the pub’s premises!

 After a busy day at school, this pub is an ideal spot for relaxing with friends. The menu boasts plenty of pub favourites with terrific pints to match. In addition to great food, Coach & Lantern has a variety of exciting entertainment during the week: Monday trivia, Thursday open mic nights, and live music on weekends. Looking for a place to celebrate a special event? The pub now hosts gatherings in their Upper Coach dining space. Only a short distance from Redeemer campus, this pub is sure to have you sitting for many hours over great conversation and much laughter!

The Crown reminds readers to drink responsibly and not to drink and drive! 

What's Happening in Hamilton

Hamilton's Farmers' Market

Rebekka Gondosch | Reporter

 

Location:  35 York Boulevard, Hamilton

Hours of Operation:  Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 8-6, Saturday 7-5.

 Must-Visit:  Sensational Samosa! Located at the York Street entrance to the market, this vendor’s freshly baked jumbo samosas are great to grab before perusing the premise! 

Operating in Hamilton for over 175 years, the Farmers’ Market is an ideal place to greet the cold winter with heart-warming, local foods. Run by the City of Hamilton, the Market is located indoors, — next to the Hamilton Public Library and Jackson Square — fills two stories with shops, and is open year round.

Vendors include bakeries such as de la terre and British Baked Goods, local produce providers such as Buttrum’s pesticide-free farm, and Vinnie’s Fresh Pasta Factory, which spins out delicious pasta on the spot, ready to cook at home. Enjoy a cup of hot coffee from Relay Coffee or Lina’s Pastries and Coffee, or sip a wine sample from Ridge Road Winery as you stroll through the market.

 Looking for Christmas gifts? The Market is a great place to purchase presents for those on your nice list! From delicious local food and drink to florist shops and artisan vendors, there is something to satisfy all appetites in this 55,000 square foot space! 

Political Hay and Giant Seeds

Floyd Elzinga’s Haymaker Exhibition at Redeemer

Anna Bolton 

It’s not often that Redeemer plays host to a thousand-pound metal dandelion seed and shredded paper hay bales, but for the duration of artist Floyd Elzinga’s exhibition Haymaker, this is, in fact, the case.  

 Elzinga is mainly a conceptual artist whose work is heavily influenced by the environment. For over fifteen years he has been working primarily with steel and found objects, creating giant pinecones and five-foot sculpted weeds.

In his show Haymaker, which is on display in the Redeemer art gallery until the end of November, Elzinga juxtaposes agriculture and business in an attempt to show how the two seemingly unrelated realms actually go together.

Elzinga comes from a farming family, and his agricultural knowledge is evident throughout his Haymaker pieces.

“This show merges a lot of the different worlds I know that have usually stayed separate,” Elzinga said.

“It’s a very interesting mixture of how two drastically different worlds somehow go together,” said Jessica Puddicombe, a third-year art major at Redeemer.

This juxtaposition of agriculture and business is reflected in the very materials Elzinga uses for his pieces. “It’s crazy how he takes metal, such an inorganic substance, and makes it look organic,” said Rachael Bosma, student art curator at Redeemer.

 

Elzinga combines agricultural icons and business archetypes, as well as the organic and inorganic, in ways both interesting and beautiful. In his piece Political Hay, Elzinga actually puts shredded office documents through a hay baler to create bales of “political hay.”

 In another piece, Industrial Growth, Elzinga creates a new plant shoot out of steel that grows up and around a piece of industrial equipment.

In all of the Haymaker pieces, there is this melding of the natural qualities of agriculture and nature with the inorganic characteristics of steel and the business world.

While some of his pieces, such as Industrial Growth, provide a sense of hope and potential for the future of agriculture, others are meant to bring awareness to what Professor Chris Cuthill, head of Redeemer’s art department, describes as “the potential for cultivation to be misused.”

Elzinga wanted to make an agricultural statement with this show that he claims has been twenty years in the making. “I’ve always looked at this gallery as a sculpture gallery,” Elzinga said. “This space commands larger pieces.”

 Elzinga certainly delivered, as the Redeemer art gallery thrives with his metallic weeds, seeds and unconventional hay bales. His work couldn’t even be contained within the gallery, as a sculpture of a round hay bale made of scrap metal extends the exhibition outside to the quad.

 “I think this show has pushed the bounds of Redeemer’s gallery further than it ever has been before,” Bosma said. “I hope people will take the time to come look at it.”

 To see more of Elzinga’s work and to learn more about it, visit his website at http://www.floydelzinga.com

 

 

 

Battle of the Brushes

A Hit of an Art Show

Elise Arsenault | Reporter 

What do you get when you cross eleven easels, loaded palates, a stopwatch and an imaginative group of artists? The answer is one gem of an art show: Re-create’s Battle of the Brushes.

Re-create is a Shalem Mental Health Network program for youth aged 16-25 years, located at Art Forms on James St. North, downtown Hamilton. Their open arts studio invites street-involved youth to try their hand at painting, poetry, performance art, photography and other multimedia projects. Re-create volunteers are most often local students, established artists and members of the wider arts community.

Rachael Bosma 

Rachael Bosma 

 Next year, Re-create will see the end of its World Vision Canadian Programs funding, and thus become dependent on donations to keep their creative projects running. “50 Donors in 50 Days” is their current fundraising initiative, hoping to recruit 50 donors committed to monthly donations by November 14th.

The Battle of the Bushes event on September 25th marked the launch of this campaign and saw over a hundred people in attendance. The breakdown of the event was this: eleven competing artists had blank canvases, art supplies of their choosing and 30 minutes to finish a painting of any style. When the time ran out, each audience member dropped a ticket into the slot box of the artist whose painting they liked the most. Once the tickets were tallied, the top six artists moved on to the second round. After a coffee break, they were given another canvas and half an hour to paint a final work. Audience members voted again with a second ticket, and the top three artists became the first, second and third place winners awarded makeshift, hand painted trophies.

Nina Schuurman

Nina Schuurman

 Live musicians performing that evening included Esther Phua and Nimal Agalawatte, and nourishing the crowd and contestants were home-made pastries. All seventeen paintings went up for sale in a silent auction after the competition with a portion of the funds going to Re-create, in addition to the pay-what-you-can admission fee.

The artists registered for the competition came from Sheridan College, McMaster University, the Hamilton Conservatory of the Arts, Ontario College of Art & Design, their own art tours, and — wait for it — Redeemer University College! Yes, Redeemer’s own Nina Schuurman, Rachael Bosma and Professor Phil Irish were among the contestants that evening, with Rachael winning the 2nd place prize, and Prof. Irish coming in first place. In third place was Hamilton native pen and ink illustrator Hannah Essex, whose paintings featured alien-like creatures.

Phil Irish

Phil Irish

 The concept and atmosphere of the event was unlike anything I’d experienced before. There was a natural anticipation that came with blank canvases, readied brushes and a stopwatch — the movement of nimble hands, boundless brains and tunnel vision. There was wonder in witnessing the growth of an idea as strokes thickened and colours bled. Moreover, artists became vulnerable as they invited the audience into a creative process that is usually kept private.

 It was remarkable to see eleven previously naked easels become thrones to distinct works of art. The competition’s freedom made for a melding of styles — landscapes, creatures, faces, striking colour and ambitious shapes. The auction sheets filled with bids after the competition, so the majority of the paintings went home with attendees (including me).

Phil Irish's second-round painting

Phil Irish's second-round painting

The whole of the event — the original work of visual artists, the mellow tunes of live musicians and the homey spread of drinks and dessert — was rich in thought and creativity, with an intimacy that gripped its audience.

 Another arts showcase worth mentioning is that of nine Redeemer students, whose paintings are currently installed at Jubilee Christian Reformed Church in St. Catherine’s for viewing until the end of November. The exhibition, entitled “The Temple Project,” is a set of large oil-paintings reflecting on the word “temple.” The artists will be at the church on November 25th to speak about the incorporation of this theme in their pieces. In addition, stay tuned for Prof. Irish’s art show, “b Contemporary,” to open in the month of December.

Hannah Essex's second-round painting

Hannah Essex's second-round painting

Art as a battle, a hobby, an outlet, a challenge… it’s all valid. Call it a cultural mandate, call it foolishness, but its what we do — no matter our trade, and what we are, no matter our doubt. There are books, courses and whole degree programs that can better justify it than I can, but what I do know is this: art makes people think, and art makes people feel. It draws to the surface what little else can, so it’s forever worth seeing, questioning and making.

Rachael Bosma's first-round painting 

Rachael Bosma's first-round painting 

 Additional pictures from Battle of the Brushes, artist info, and open studio hours can be found on Re-create’s Facebook page, as well as at recreatestudio.tumblr.com.

From left to right: Meghan Schuurman, Phil Irish, Rachael Bosma, and Hannah Essex

From left to right: Meghan Schuurman, Phil Irish, Rachael Bosma, and Hannah Essex

Macy's Call for Help

Hamilton Local Seeks Financial Help

Fern Lodge

Six and a half years ago, 13 year old Hamilton native Rumeysa (Macy) Cosgun went home for lunch.

 While she was eating, a man came to the door. He asked who was home, and Macy told him it was just herself and her aunt. The man was Macy’s uncle who had abused her aunt. He started stabbing Macy. Her aunt came to see what was happening and he stabbed her as well, killing her. Macy ran out of the house to get help.

Macy had been stabbed five times and sustained puncture wounds to her intestines, lung, and stomach. After life-saving surgery, she was left with a large scar across her body that is physically and emotionally painful.

Now, Macy is old enough to have scar revision and reconstructive surgery but it is not being covered. The cost is over $25,000. However, the CICB will give her $10,000 if she can get the rest. Macy is a friend and close community member and if anyone is interested in donating to this cause it would be greatly appreciated by me, Macy, and so many others.

 If you would like to donate you can do so at www.gofundme.com/rumeysacosgun or email me at flodge@redeemer.ca for more ways to donate, more information, or if you have any questions.

 

What's Happening in Hamilton

Local Spot: The Art Gallery of Hamilton "AGH" 

Rebekka Gondosch | Reporter 

Location: 123 King Street West, Hamilton

Hours of Operation: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 11-6, Thursday 11-8, Saturday and Sunday 12-5. Closed on Mondays with the exception of select holidays. The first Friday of every month is free. Admission to the AGH is FREE to full time Redeemer students courtesy of RBC, the gallery's Audience Development Partner!

Must-See: Kim Adams: Bruegel-Bosch Bus permanent installation. Adams is a Canadian artist and this installation is one you won’t soon forget!

Whether you are an art student, an art enthusiast, or a curious explorer, the Art Gallery of Hamilton is a must-see establishment. In south-western Ontario the AGH is both the oldest public art gallery, having opened in 1914, and the biggest. It houses over 10,000 works of art, with both Canadian and International works.

Image credit: Kim Adams (Canadian b. 1951) ; Bruegel-Bosch Bus   1996-ongoing; sculpture-installation

Image credit: Kim Adams (Canadian b. 1951) ; Bruegel-Bosch Bus   1996-ongoing; sculpture-installation

Are You Experienced? is the AGH’s current exhibit, which features international artists and focuses on appealing to all the senses while rupturing assumptions of what art is. The pieces range from large scale installations to multi-media works. The exhibition encourages audience involvement with immersive experiences of art. The exhibition runs until January 3rd 2016 and is available free to AGH members (only $30.00 for a student yearly membership or $8.00 for the exhibit).

In addition to this collection, the AGH also has a FREE exhibit called Art for a Century: 100 for the 100th which showcases art from the gallery’s permanent collection. After viewing the exhibits, the gallery welcomes you to browse the gift shop or visit the Horse and Train Bistro. Prefer a more personal venue? The AGH also has their Design Annex, a creativity lab on 118 James Street North which showcases experimental works in a smaller space.

The AGH not only has a renowned art gallery but also holds AGH talks, art classes, tours, youth events, an upcoming book club, special events, and afternoon tea! This month the gallery hosts the 7th annual AGH BMO World Film Festival from October 16-25. The festival consists of 35 internationally acclaimed films at various local venues.

Visit www.artgalleryofhamilton.com and www.aghfilmfest.com for more information!

1960s Volkswagen bus, figurines, mixed media

Acquired with the assistance of the York Wilson Endowment Award at The Canada Council for the Arts and with funds from The E. Muriel Baker Estate, The Russell Nelson Eden Estate and The Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, 2001.  Photo: Mike Lalich

Indwell, Hope and Homes

Liberal Arts Learning For Service

Phil Teeuwsen | Redeemer Professor

The expectations of faculty are divided into a number of different categories.  The primary expectation is that we teach.  A closely related expectation is that we do research.  Faculty are always learning more about their field of study, but also seek to significantly contribute to it through research, presentations at conferences, and scholarly publications in books and journals.  An additional expectation of faculty is that we become involved in service, both here at Redeemer, but also in the community as well.  As a professor in the Department of Education, my teaching and research revolves around teaching and learning, schools and schooling.  I could (and do) spend hours and pages discussing this.  In this article, I would like to shed some light on a particular area of service in the Hamilton community.

I sit on the Board of Directors of Indwell.  Indwell is a Christian charity that creates affordable housing communities for people seeking health, wellness and belonging.  As you can tell from that description, Indwell is not solely concerned with housing.  It is driven to provide and support communities where people can live well and in fact flourish.  The need for such communities is great.  According to Steven Rolfe, Director of Policy and Planning, Indwell’s Dr. John M. Perkins Centre is home to 46 people experiencing recovery from mental illness or homelessness. Most people who move into Hamilton’s Perkins Centre are finding a home, often for the first time in their adult lives; few people want to give up home once they find it. Perkins Centre currently has 100 people who have applied to live there.  Most will not find a home there — some will wait up to 5 years to move in. There are over 500 people who have completed applications to live at one of Indwell’s current 7 locations. Wait times for social housing in Hamilton are up to 7 years.

Indwell has been quite ambitious in pursuing its mission. In the 2013 Strategic Plan, the Board decided to double its housing capacity by 2017; over 440 places for people to call home. These communities are all unique and reflect the nature of the neighbourhoods they are in and the needs of the tenants they serve.  Indwell currently serves close to 320 individuals and families in a variety of settings, from group homes to independent apartments in Hamilton and Woodstock.

Harvey Woods Lofts in Woodstock is an example of the dedication and creativity required by Indwell to make affordable housing happen. Our staff team partnered with all levels of government and community to convert a former sock factory into 54 beautiful apartments for people to find a home in. Phase Two of this project is set to begin shortly.  In Simcoe, the local community has welcomed Indwell to partner with them in the creation of 40 spaces.  Indwell is truly a dynamic place to be involved in.

I have a background in education, not social services or housing.  I am not a builder, nor do I have any expertise in interior design.  What I do have is experience working with various boards and organizations and am familiar with policy development and oversight. Also important is my liberal arts background that I cultivated at Redeemer as a student in the early 1990s and also now as a faculty member.  Places like Indwell do not work well without the coming together of multiple voices, perspectives and skills.  This requires people who can understand and consider problems and opportunities from a variety of different angles. 

Indwell is not just about housing; it would not be as successful if it was.  It is about people.  Most organizations are about people and relationships, ideas and dreams, needs and opportunities, problems and solutions.  I have a degree in Political Science and History from Redeemer.  I teach people how to teach, and for now, I contribute to the direction of Indwell, seeking to provide hope and homes for the people of Hamilton, Woodstock and beyond.  I was prepared for such service through my Redeemer education. 

I began this article discussing service as an expectation of faculty. The reality of the Christian life is that it is the expectation of all of us.  When I was a student at Redeemer, the overall message seemed to be contained in the phrase “Learning is for serving.” This was declared in the context of a belief that was summed up clearly and concisely by our commencement speaker, who said, “Nothing in this world matters except Jesus Christ.  But because of Jesus Christ, everything matters.” Since everything matters, our hope at Redeemer is that our students will learn to be ready for anything.    

The Kitty Murray Mugging

A First-Hand Account

Elise Arsenault | Reporter

Last week I had the opportunity to sit down with fourth-year student Craig De Boer and hear first-hand of the experience he had October third, when he and three other Redeemer students were targeted in an attack and attempted robbery near campus.

 The story begins when he, Devan Visser, Joshua Elgeti, and Ben Corkery were walking east on Garner Road around three o’clock that morning, and Craig turned right to start walking down Kitty Murray Lane.

“I heard some tires stop behind me and some yelling,” he recounts. “The next thing I know, I’m on the other side of the road seeing Ben get knocked out. There are fifteen seconds in-between where I don’t know what happened. I don’t remember getting hit, and I don’t remember seeing people or a car.”

Joshua Elgeti was a witness of what happened during those fifteen seconds. He initially thought the yelling came from other Redeemer students saying hello, but soon realized he was wrong. “Once they turned around,” Craig explains, “they saw me on the ground. There were guys trying to take my backpack off, kicking and hitting me.” Immediately Joshua and Ben ran over to where they were.

 “One guy pulled out a knife. Josh saw it and told Ben to get out, so they both started going back to the other side of the road. The guy with the knife ran towards Ben, punched him in the jaw and he blacked out.

 “I remember calling Ben’s name to try to wake him up. I didn’t want to touch him in case he had a spinal or neck injury. I knew the reason he’d been knocked out was because he and Josh stepped in to help me, so I felt really bad for that. I was terrified when he wasn’t responding — you always think of the worst case scenario at times like that.” Meanwhile, Devan Visser ran to the fire department at that intersection and woke paramedics.

 “They drove out the back and put Ben on a stretcher since he didn’t move a muscle for about 45 seconds to a minute; we were pretty freaked out. Josh was calm and used my phone to call 911.” Ben awoke on the way to the hospital and a medic asked him questions to assess his state.

“She asked him if he knew what day it was, but he couldn’t answer. So I said ‘Ben, we played Fanshawe today — what day did we play Fanshawe?’ and he’d remember. Then a few minutes later he’d forget again… That happened four or five times.” Once at the hospital, Ben and Craig’s injuries were attended to.

“I didn’t know I was hit until we got to the hospital. My thumb hurt, but otherwise I felt fine.” When a doctor noticed two goose eggs on either side of Craig’s head, they decided he’d better be checked out as well. They concluded that he’d been punched on one side, and the other had hit the sidewalk.

“I don’t know if I technically blacked out, or if it was shock and adrenaline. I’ve never been in a fight in my life. It was surreal. I was physically unable to remember.” This proved to be frustrating when trying to recall specifics for his statement to police.

IMG_6147.JPG

“I remember seeing a fist, but not the person it belonged to. No one could really remember what went on — we didn’t even think about looking at the guys. We just wanted them to leave us alone.”

 “It happened so fast,” Craig laughs, “that they didn’t even have time to steal anything. So that was nice.”

The fractured bone in Craig’s hand is likely to heal in four to six weeks, and his concussion testing requires only a few more days’ rest before he’s cleared to play soccer again. “I was pretty upset that the fracture could potentially end my season for outdoor soccer which, for me — soccer is life. Soccer is amazing.” His next doctor’s appointment is the day before the team’s last game on October 21st.

“Whether I play or not is completely up to that doctor… So that’s kinda stressful!”

Ben Corkery was diagnosed with a more serious concussion, and so was out of commission for over a week.

“He’s getting through it, he’s slowly recovering. We actually all live in the same house — so that’s awesome.” Craig admits to some psychological repercussions, too, as a result of the attack.

“When I cut through the forest to get to the school, all my senses are heightened — I’ll look back at the sound of a squirrel. I know it will wear off, but for now I don’t like being by myself as much.” At the end of our conversation, I ask if he’s heard any false rumours about the incident and, as it turns out, he has:

“One day, someone came up and asked me: ‘Are you the guy who got stabbed in the arm?’ And I was like, ‘No, man. Do you know someone who got stabbed in the arm?’ It was pretty funny.” He admits how odd it is to think of these kinds of occurrences happening in Ancaster.

“It’s the second richest neighbourhood in Canada! It’s not something you predict. You don’t think twice about walking alone, in the dark or just under the street lamps. These communities are mostly young people, young families and some retired people.

“If you went to a school downtown Hamilton, it might be in the back of your mind. You’d be a lot more careful and wouldn’t be out so late… You dont expect something like this to happen on your own street corner, especially outside Redeemer.”

Mark this incident as additional reminder to be aware of your surroundings and intentional in your decision making. Pointers given by Security on street-safety include: planning safe means of getting home before heading out, keeping friends informed about your whereabouts, keeping your cellphone charged, being wary of alcohol consumption, and keeping to well-lit, busy streets when walking at night.

If you experience any incidents in which your safety was at risk, or would like an escort to your dorm at night, Security is on duty from 4pm-7am and can be reached at 905-961-4444.

What's Happening in Hamilton?

Rebekka Gondosch | Reporter

This Month's Local, Must-Visit Location! 

The Hamilton-Wentworth District is alive and abundant with interesting places and spaces to explore. Every city has its hidden gems and this region is no exception. Whether you have just moved to the area or have been a local enthusiast for quite some time, this monthly article will point you in the direction of noteworthy places to visit during your time spent here at Redeemer. Need a new place to study? An inexpensive idea for a day trip? Somewhere to take family and friends when they come to visit? Check out 'What’s Happening in Hamilton?' for some locally inspired ideas.

 Conveniently situated beside a quaint, used bookshop in Hamilton’s International Village, this café is a dream to Redeemer students yearning for the comforts of their Dutch roots. With a Dutch-inspired vision (easily spotted on the café’s “Koffie” board), their menu is filled with traditional delights such as stroopwafels, and modern creations that cater to all patrons. Gluten-free blondies, vegan savory pies, the “Soep van de Dag,” freshly brewed coffee, this café promotes locally-sourced items made with quality and care.

A sip of Oranje’s coffee sets the standard for your future coffee consumption Tim Hortons may never seem quite the same. As a study space, this café has both a dark, cozy area toward the back of the shop with contrasting bright, giant window nooks at the front overlooking the busy streets. And to top it all off? Many of the baristas at Café Oranje have attended or graduated from Redeemer! 

Supercrawl: "God's Art Gallery on the Street"

Rebekka Gondosch | Reporter

Hamilton’s Supercrawl certainly lives up to its title as being a local street festival of impressive proportions. Even the rain could not dampen the spirits of enthusiasts crawling along James Street North in support of local artists, musicians, business owners, and community members alike. When I first moved to Hamilton last year, Supercrawl served as my 'initiation' into the city’s culture. I was given a taste — pun intended, on account of the numerous food trucks of the supportive and stimulating environment that is often underestimated by those living outside of the city’s parameters. Hamilton is abundant with creativity, collaboration, and a collective enthusiasm which manifests itself perhaps most apparently in the annual Supercrawl.

 It was during my first Supercrawl that I stumbled upon, coincidentally in the very heart of James Street, the impressive structure that is Christ Church Cathedral: Anglican Church and office to the Diocese of Niagara. At the time it was both strange and spectacular to me that such a typically traditional space was so open to embrace the vibrancy of an event like Supercrawl. It was this integration of cultural life that led me to attend services at Christ Church, and to investigate its role in Hamilton’s festivities during my second Supercrawl venture this month.

As I walked through Bishopsgate garden, the numerous vendors courageously crammed, come wind and rain, into the church’s courtyard. I focused on making the long trek to the back of the church. During these community events the church allows visitors to explore as far as behind the altar: an opportunity I enjoy taking full advantage of. It was in this moment of gazing up at the impressive architecture of the space, notebook and pen in hand, that I felt a momentary opposition within myself. The magnitude of church tradition colliding with my contemporary role as a reporter craving candid insight into the life and truth of this place seemed temporarily incongruent.

It was then that I was greeted by a member of the congregation, John Watts, who ruptured any fear of formality I was momentarily harbouring. I asked Watts the question that had been stirring in my brain for the last year: how did Christ Church Cathedral become such an integral and inviting part of one of Hamilton’s most applauded events? My initial hypothesis was that the church merged with the goings-on of the festival. A somewhat stereotypical 'the church had to keep up with the times' point of view. Not so in the case of Christ Church. Watts informed me that it was this church that began the spark of Art Crawls which would ignite the flame of its super-sized annual crawl.

For those who are unaware, Hamilton is also host to monthly Art Crawls: smaller scale, more frequent versions of Supercrawl. Christ Church was at the forefront of this artistic movement, opening up Bishopsgate to local vendors as a means of encouraging their talents and providing a space amidst what was then a much more desolate streetscape. The event became known as “Maker’s Market” and prompted the community of James Street to align with the inviting presence of Christ Church’s street space. Thus, Art Crawls began in the spirit of this awakened sense of vitality. Rather than the superimposed assumption I initially had of the church’s involvement, the process was, in Watts' words, more “evolutionary,” beginning with the church’s encouragement of growth and celebrating of culture. It is somewhat poetical to consider the church as the foundation of this artistic movement: the Art Crawls being built upon God’s ground in a spirit of generosity and spontaneity.

As Watts emphasized to me, Christ Church’s focus during the crawls is on debunking myths surrounding what the church really is. Opening its doors to the public is an ideal means of achieving this intent; there is a transparency, a literal openness to witness and experience the numerous opportunities the church has to offer. It is important to remember that such an invitation extends beyond cathedral walls. Supercrawl attests to the positive impact shared when church and culture are harmoniously intertwined and spill forth into the city streets.

Watts concluded our discussion by enthusiastically referring to Supercrawl as, “God’s art gallery on the street.” Indeed, I would encourage us this year to see the abundant gifts of God’s gallery in all places and spaces.

Look for the next Maker’s Market at Christ Church Cathedral during Art Crawl on October 9th between 7-10pm.

Serving Downtown

Quinton Mol | Student of Redeemer 

Glorifying God in All That We Do 

After being at Redeemer for four years, I still feel like I am only beginning my learning process. With the start of each semester, it is as if the educational clock resets itself, except we approach each semester with many more presuppositions than the previous times. It is almost as if each semester there is a software update being performed on both our intellect and our souls. Through the perpetual updating of our being, our worldviews continue to be refined into what we hope is a biblical worldview. One of the most prominent, manipulative attempts at such an ideological refinery that I have experienced here at Redeemer is the claim that “to be a Christian at Redeemer, you need to serve downtown.” Although there are few people who say this explicitly, it is an implicit attitude that is present among the student body.

It wasn’t too long after the start of my first year here at Redeemer that downtown mission agenda was pressed upon me. I am sure you too have already encountered many people pressuring you to serve Jesus and to put your faith into action by serving in downtown Hamilton. It is almost as if the ideal faith life at Redeemer can be adapted into Petula Clark’s song "Downtown." In the main chorus of this 1965 hit, Ms. Clark praises the downtown core, admiring the fact that "things will be great when you're downtown, no finer place for sure, downtown everything's waiting for you."  Today, we may be praising the downtown for its ease of access to mission organizations. We join into a similar chorus, singing, “downtown [Jesus] is waiting for you.” This medley can easily be applied to the mentality of Christian service here at Redeemer and it can be dangerous. Don't get me wrong, Christian service is a essential aspect of the Christian life, but as the writer of Ecclesiastes emphasizes, "there is a time for everything" (3:1). That being said, there is a time to engage in service downtown and there is a time to abstain.  

In order to best make my point, it is necessary to dig a little deeper into who we are as Christians and what our calling is. We need to first ask ourselves some foundational questions: Who am I? Why am I here? What is my Purpose?  

When we begin to ask ourselves the question "who am I," we are confronted with many challenges. How can I use one word to properly identify myself? Is my identity based on my career? If that's true, I am student. I am a youth pastor. I am a butcher all past jobs I have occupied. Is my identity based on my family heritage? If that's true, I am a grandson, a son, a brother, and I am Canadian-Dutch (with a little bit of Frisian). Is my identity based off of my character traits? If that is true, I am loyal, humorous, and an extrovert. You see, when you try to identify yourself from merely one aspect of your life, your sense of identity will always fall short. Who you are is immeasurably beyond what you do, your family, or your traits.

Who you are is ultimately rooted in your biblical identity. First and foremost, you are a beloved child of God (John 1: 12). Second, you are complete in Christ (Col. 2:10). Third, you are a saint (Eph. 1:1). But most importantly, your identity is rooted in the undeniable fact that you are chosen by God to do the work of God; you are His servant (2 Cor. 6:1-4).

This verse in 2 Corinthians does a sufficient job bridging the gap between our identity and our calling. Your purpose is intimately connected with who you are. Your calling flows out of who you are. Thus, as a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is your calling to serve Him. At this point you may think I may be about to contradict myself. The only way I could do that is if I equivocated being servant of Jesus at Redeemer with going downtown or with physical acts. But that is not what I intend to do. To fully be a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, we must recognize our purpose. That is to say we must recognize our chief end.  According to the Westminster Confession of Faith, man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. We glorify God by performing fully in the situation that He has called us to. And together, at Redeemer, we are first called as students (at least the majority of us). To be fully you and to fully serve you must fully be a student.

To quote Dr. David Zietsma from his recent address at the September Church in the Box service, we should be “Christ followers who happen to be” students. Being perpetually future-sighted to be missional rather than studious is a dangerous thing. To always look 5 years down the road or to the next mission event neglects the purposes God has for you here and now. God has plans for you to serve Him here and now. That is living faithfully before Him in the mundane routines of life: “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much” (Luke 16:10).   

Thus, I want to say this to you today: exercise discernment. Establish God’s sense of timing in your life do not worry about tomorrow, serve Him today. Again, it is important to be downtown, but do not be persuaded that it somehow makes you a better Christian. Focus on you right now. Focus on your relationship with Jesus Christ first. Further your academic knowledge of faith and honour God through your studies. Let this be your spiritual act of worship (Rom. 12:1). If you are to serve downtown, do so genuinely, do so within your calling, not because you are pressured into it or to get a vain sense of satisfaction. Do so, so that in all things Christ may be glorified. 

 

Food Drive Part Two: Where It Goes

Justin Eisinga | Reporter

When most people think of neighbourhoods on the Hamilton Mountain, they don’t necessarily associate them with increasing levels of poverty and food bank use. Those are associations most commonly made with the lower city, in neighbourhoods like Beasley or Barton Village. This common misconception, that poverty is a ‘downtown problem,’ is one that Neighbour 2 Neighbour knows all too well.

 It’s something Doug Farraway, Director of Development for the social service agency, is passionate about dispelling. “ [In the past] the mountain was the destination. The mission was to get to the mountain. Open spaces, bigger lots, better air. That’s changed, but the perception lingers,” says Farraway. “The per capita poverty rate on Hamilton Mountain is 16%; the rate for the rest of the city is 18%. They’re virtually the same!”

 Each September, Redeemer students collect bags of food throughout the neighbourhood surrounding campus as a part of LAUNCH activities. This initiative began as a way for first year students to reach out to the community. The food that is collected is delivered right to the doors of Neighbour 2 Neighbour, replenishing the shelves during a season that most don’t associate with higher levels of food bank use. According to Farraway, the 8,600 pounds of food that were collected by Redeemer students this year was an incredible gift.

 “Poverty doesn’t take a vacation,” says Farraway. “In between [the major holidays] the demand doesn’t go away.” The major holidays Farraway is making reference to are Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter, which are the most popular times for people to get rid of surplus cans of soup and boxes of Kraft Dinner. September is especially important as families send their children back to school and are in need of food to prepare lunches and snacks. The reality is that Neighbour 2 Neighbour’s community food programs are a central component to the work they do in preventing poverty in Hamilton Mountain neighbourhoods.

 Founded in 1984, Neighbour 2 Neighbour was birthed out of a need for food services in Upper Hamilton. Originally housed in a storefront, the demand for services provided by the centre eventually necessitated a move to the current larger location in 1994. Executive Director Denise Arkell was brought on board to help expand and guide the centre to best serve the Hamilton Mountain community. Ever since, Neighbour 2 Neighbour has seen tremendous growth; the centre now boasts 11 equivalent full-time staff, and many new programs have developed over the years.

 Although Neighbour 2 Neighbour offers a variety of services to those in need, including family services and educational support, a large portion of the centre’s energy goes towards their Community Food Access Programs. “It’s all about bringing people together surrounding food,” Arkell stated.

 However, Arkell does not shy away from making it known that agencies like Neighbour 2 Neighbour shouldn’t really exist. “Food banks are a short-term stop. They are not fixing anything until we find a way of really dealing with the preventative part. Unfortunately there’s no cure for that we’re going to be able to come up with.”

 Arkell believes policy changes that implement better wages are key to addressing poverty and issues around food security. “Let’s not beat around the bush here, the issue of poverty is income,” says Arkell. “Until incomes are changed, agencies like Neighbour 2 Neighbour will be around.”

 At the end of the day, Arkell has been tasked with leading an organization that is on the forefront of poverty prevention in the City of Hamilton. Finding innovative ways to address these problems is something she is good at, and the development of Neighbour 2 Neighbour over the years is evidence of that.

 Denise and Doug want what’s best for the individuals and families they serve each and every day. They also want the surrounding community to join in, especially Redeemer students. In February, Neighbour 2 Neighbour is looking for student participation in Coldest Night of the Year, a walk-a-thon that raised significant funds when it took place for the first time earlier this year. Both directors would also love to see students engage on a whole other level: spending a night sleeping outside as a part of their annual Sleep Out for Hunger event. This event doubles as a fundraising opportunity and an educational experience.

Ultimately, however, what Arkell and Farraway would love to see are students engaging in their community by giving of their time. There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer and serve Neighbour 2 Neighbour and the people they serve. Food is always streaming into the centre that needs to be sorted, there are kids that need to be tutored after school and the community gardens could always use some care. To foster a habit of giving back, not just with our money but also with our time, is something that should never be delayed. Contrary to what our culture tells us, time is a gift far more valuable than money could every purchase. 

Denise Arkell and Doug Farraway, directors at Neighbour 2 Neighbour Centre.

Denise Arkell and Doug Farraway, directors at Neighbour 2 Neighbour Centre.

541 Eatery & Exchange: The Heart, the Fruit, and the Need

Elise Arsenault | Reporter

541 Eatery & Exchange is located at 541 Barton Street East in downtown Hamilton.

541 Eatery & Exchange is located at 541 Barton Street East in downtown Hamilton.

The first thing I notice upon entering 541 Barton St. E is its centrepiece: a long, rectangular, ash-wood harvest table. Surrounding it are several mismatched wooden chairs, seating equally mismatched people. I see two caffeinated businessmen, scrutinizing their file folders. Next to them, a young girl makes Snow White dance on her momma’s teapot. Across the table, a trio of infinity-scarfed girls share scones and plans for the weekend.

"Nowhere else in the city do you get that,” says Sam K., Redeemer alumnus and staff at 541, “nowhere else have I seen such a diverse group of people sit at the same table. Some are really well off, some not so well off, and some are from Ancaster, others from downtown. They’re all having different days, and yet they’re eating the same food here, together.”

Nowhere else have I seen such a diverse group of people sit at the same table.
— Sam K., 541 Eatery & Exchange

The concept of 541: Eatery & Exchange was conceived a number of years ago by Michael Bowyer, Community Pastor of Ellis Avenue Church in East Hamilton. His vision is one of inclusivity, offering affordable, accessible and high-quality foods to those from all walks of life. The establishment opened this past summer with funding from Compass Point Church in Burlington, and operates on 80% volunteering-staff. Proceeds from all purchases cycle back into community programming.

 There is currently an after-school program for kids on Wednesday afternoons, including homework help and recreational activities. Though still in the works, Sam says, “we’re still finding our footing, but are planning on expanding from there, possibly extending from Monday to Friday.”

 "The most fruitful program yet,” says Sam, “is job training. Some people say they want to get a job at Starbucks or MacDonald’s, but aren’t in a place where they’re given a chance.” 541 equips volunteers with job experience, work skills, and a reference for when they apply elsewhere. This only strengthens their vision, “because those getting involved often have a better perspective on ministry, and poverty, than we do. We learn form each other.” Volunteers stress immersing themselves within the community they serve: “We want everyone to have the opportunity to receive from us, but also to be able to give back and be a part of what we are doing; everyone has something to contribute.”

 The cafe runs from 7 AM to 7 PM, Monday through Saturday, but the serving doesn’t cease between hours. A local church, The Meeting Place, holds their services there on Sunday afternoons. “What’s unique to us,” shares Shira Gamey, member of The Meeting Place, “is that we do church with people we actually see throughout the week – we don’t just pray on Sundays with each other. We have a geographical closeness that brings a different dynamic to how we grow as a community.”

 Beginning as a basement Bible study, The Meeting Place soon grew into a church community with Sue Carr, 541’s Executive Director, as it’s Pastor. “Each week we take time to share the burdens of our hearts,” Shira explains, “we love one another, pray for one another, and dine together. It is in these spiritual rhythms that I find God at work, knitting us into a community that actually walks through different seasons of life together.”

 Next comes the Prayer Room, managed by Shira and run by the Greater Ontario House of Prayer. “541,” she says, “has graciously allowed us to set up in their basement, and we are excited about what God is going to do with this partnership.” The space is free to visit from 8 AM to 4 PM, Monday to Friday, and will soon include an array of prayer stations. My quick visit downstairs last week revealed a quaint room with guitars, canvases, and the ideal atmosphere to intercede and receive through earnest times of prayer.

 There is so much happening at 541. The vision is Biblical, the people are genuine, the space is blessed and the results are fruitful. There is, however, still a need. “We always need volunteers,” Sam says, “for front-of-house, for kitchen, for cleaning and for absolutely everything else. Without volunteers we cant operate.” This need for staff is not only to get brooms to floors or food to tables, but to get hearts to hearts in intentional chats with customers: “We want to be able to care for people – to interact with them as we wipe down tables and strike up conversations in a natural way. We can’t do that when we’re understaffed.” If you feel drawn to volunteering, I was told to get in touch with Sue Carr, a “wise, British lady who would love to sit down with you and talk about your heart, your giftedness and willingness, and then figure it out from there.”

 Remember that harvest table? Did you know that Redeemer alumnus Jeff Wynands crafted it? We’re already making an imprint here, my Royal friends, and so is the kingdom of heaven. Let us join in by giving of ourselves to a ministry that, like Christ, longs for the outcast to be known, the hungry to be fed and the last to be first.

P.S., When you visit, ask about the Button Jar. 

Crossing Cultures

Helena Schuurman

This fall was my eighth CrossCulture, if I'm counting correctly. Although it was about 5 years ago, I clearly remember my first because it impacted me tremendously – it was one of the first times I talked to strangers about Jesus, the first time I thought about prayer as actually powerful enough to yield palpable answers, and, looking back, one of the first times I actually went to downtown Hamilton.

 This year, I went for a second time as a CrossCulture Representative, leading a group to a service site. The location I was going to go to got switched around last minute, and I ended up going to the Lectio House, a house set up by a couple for the purpose of being a place of refuge, retreat and reflection for people working in Hamiltonian ministries. At this CrossCulture I learned about the rest and times of solitude needed for people that do ministry. I heard God speak to me through the couple that hosted us. I heard Him tell me things I desperately needed to hear, and at the end of the day I left encouraged and renewed.

 I've noticed such a gap between the upper town folk and downtown folk here in Hamilton. The beauty of CrossCulture is that we all get to witness a different culture that we may not otherwise come into contact with – a culture that's a little more down-to-earth, gritty and loud.

 Maybe this is just my perspective, but I experience God in a bit more of a down-to-earth, gritty, and loud way downtown. Yahweh is working so uniquely in our city, in different ways from up here on the mountain. CrossCulture is beautiful because it gives us a chance to see a different side of His character that may otherwise not be experienced by some. I have fallen in love with the Lord's work downtown, and I long for more of us to come face to face with this and learn from what's happening.

CrossCulture does exactly what its name implies – it crosses cultures together. A sense of deep unity among people of all different walks of life is experienced because of the event. Going to CrossCulture inevitably means meeting people that are very different from us, but that's the beauty of it. We can all share our humanity in common, our broader experiences of joy and pain and need for a Saviour – those are the things that can and do unite us.

Every time CrossCulture rolls around, I get excited to worship with brothers and sisters from all over the greater Hamilton area in the morning, then separate and serve in the community in the afternoon, and then come back together at the end of the day to continue worshipping. I see it as strangely symbolic of the ideal for our lives: gathering as a community of believers, scattering and sharing Christ's love as we go and coming back together afterward, still unified. God's name is glorified so richly on that day, and it's my prayer that He will continue to be glorified in our daily lives as we gather and scatter unceasingly. 

So come out to CrossCulture this spring. There are so many ways to be a part of the day, and I'm quite certain that you'll be blessed to attend.

Students help at a local eatery & exchange, 541 Hamilton

Students help at a local eatery & exchange, 541 Hamilton

Redeemer Food Drive Part One: Where It Begins

Justin Eisinga | Reporter

On Friday, September 5, over 150 Redeemer students and 10 faculty/staff helped fill the gap for a local food bank. The food bank, run by local organization Neighbour 2 Neighbour, provides food assistance to individuals and families primarily living in the Hamilton Mountain community.  

Although students were unable to beat previous records of food collected, they were nonetheless able to collect over 8,600 pounds of food. This is quite an accomplishment, considering any donation to the Neighbour 2 Neighbour food bank helps provide for the roughly 1,100 families that require their Food Access Program each month.

 Hunger is a reality on the Hamilton Mountain and throughout the greater Hamilton area, and Redeemer students help contribute to the relief of hungry bellies each year. But food banks are a reality for many Canadians, not just those living in Hamilton. Roughly 850,000 Canadians visit a food bank each year. According to Food Banks Canada, 36.4 per cent of these visitors are children and youth.

Hunger is a real experience for many people living in cities and towns across our country, and food banks are one of the main sources of food for those who find it difficult to afford groceries on a regular basis. Yet, these food banks rely on the local community to fill the shelves so that those in need can eat. 

Over the next several issues of The Crown, we will attempt to follow this food in order to learn more about where it goes after we collect it and to put faces to the people who end up eating it.

We want you to know where the food that Redeemer students collected ended up. We want you to know who the people are that may be eating the box of cereal or can of soup students picked up off the front porch of one of our own neighbours. In doing so, we hope to create a better understanding of the food bank system and the people who use it.

As followers of Christ, we are called to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit the prisoner. Yet, often times we feel afraid or nervous, and as a result we distance ourselves from those who are poor instead of creating relationships with them. On top of this, the stigma that is attached to food bank users is not helpful for us or for them, as it builds walls up and creates distance, making it difficult for those who are privileged to empathize and for food bank users to perceive access to such services. Who knows, one day even you may need to access a food bank.

Our prayer is that this series of articles will break down some of those walls that keep you from stepping into places of need, and allow you to flourish in the places God has called you to. 

Beyond the Crowds of Hamilton's Biggest Party

Written By: Elise Arsenault

My woollen scarf still smells of marijuana.

                  I was warned of the narcotic atmosphere and the swollen crowds. I was notified of the drunken hooligans, deafening amps and questionable porta-potties. Having been raised in a town whose sidewalks are cleaner than my moccasins, I knew Supercrawl would be culture shock, and I was beyond stoked.

                  I prepared myself both mentally and physically while waiting for my ride that Friday night. I dressed in several layers, going for misunderstood hipster, downloaded the Supercrawl app and adequately cleared my camera roll. Lastly, I packed two pens and a notebook. A fine-arts assignment required me to take notes on a visual piece, a performance piece and another of my choosing.

                  All predictions were proven true within ten minutes on James St. North; the crowd was massive and thoroughly strewn with the young and intoxicated. This meant that everyone moved slowly, and that buskers were granted tipsy, dancing teenagers as an accompanying act. I clutched my notebook and narrowed my vision, vowing to seek out the peculiarly beautiful.

                  I found it in a gallery, then again in front of the Vasco da Gama Futebol Club and still again on a 12’ x 20’ brick wall.

                  I barely noticed Claude Le Blanc’s piece, J-L Murat, when I first entered Stax Gallery. It wasn’t particularly bold or thought provoking in its portrayal of a yellow, wooden fishing boat on still water. What caught my intrigue were its textured layers, reminding me of a childhood craft. I would scribble all over a sheet in crayon, then paint over it in black. Once it dried, I’d scratch the surface and each line teemed with colour.

                  I spoke with an eloquent, name-tagged man in a dress shirt. I was told that after painting a scene, Le Blanc would scrape it downward with a knife. He is known to construct, deconstruct, and transform his work until all that remains is emotion, usually abandon or solitude. I was captivated by these marks, these scars, bringing light to the hues hidden beneath.

                  A five-minute walk southward brought me to a dimly lit curb, where a lone man played an electric guitar. His case rested open before him, laden with coins and actual peanuts. I don’t know what drew me to stay, but I did. A kind of serenity swept to and fro across his frets as he played, his foot keeping the pace of his picking. I heard no words but certainly felt spoken to, and at his final strum I seized the silence as a chance to speak with him.

                  His name was Robin Lee LaJoie, and I asked to hear about his passion for music.

                  “I love it because it feels good.” He said. “I love to get something from here” – he pointed to his head, then to the hand still bracing copper strings – “to here.” When I asked to hear an original he began without a word.

                  This song was different; the pace was slower, the sound fuller and his foot still. He was the one entranced now, looking far past the frets and farther past the moment. A small crowd gathered, and coins hit the peanuts in steady intervals. The melody told a story, and when it concluded I asked Robin its name.

                  “Nobody Sees” he said, as though I should have already known. He shared the first verse a cappella. The words were simple yet held such depth, speaking of the first fallen leaves and a woman's first silver hair. I wondered why he said nobody sees if he indeed saw. I couldn’t help but admire this man whose music came from somewhere so raw.

                  On my way to catch bus 27 I noticed someone on stilts a block ahead of me. As I kept walking, however, I saw that it was in fact a girl on another’s shoulders, pressed against a brick wall. She was writing something: her name. Surrounding her name were hundreds of others, creating a mural of autographs.

                  These passers-by were left with boxes of chalk and complete creative freedom, yet each left but a name, straddling shoulders to reach higher or to write it bolder. They left a chalked legacy despite its impermanence, reaffirming, to me, the common yearning to be known and remembered.

                  If nothing else, Super Crawl taught me three things. There is strength in transparency, even through wounded windows. There is a vital, pulsing depth to simplicity. And legacy is irreversibly sewn to human spirit. It then struck me as to why these truths are so powerful.

                  They aren’t earthly truths, but Heavenly ones.

                  Having been created in God’s image, we too can create. The impact of our work, as I’ve now come to realize, is determined by the degree to which it reflects the heart of the first artist.